Do novels have a deeper meaning to them than what the author writes? Golding reflects the two sides of human nature in “Lord of the Flies” by using imagery. Imagery is conveyed to develop the hidden meanings of human nature through the use of specific references through the themes of light and dark imagery. Golding conveys dark imagery throughout the novel by making references to evil. From the beginning of the novel the author introduces to the reader that something sinister is impending. He uses specific language to show the reader that the boys are like approaching animals, “Within the diamond haze of the beach something dark was fumbling along” (LOF 20). The choir in a way symbolizes a militaristic group being described as a “party of boys, marching approximately in step in two parallel lines and dressed in strangely eccentric clothing”(LOF 20).
It is evident that the choir is evil because the book is written in the World War II period and it is likely that the choir symbolizes the Nazi Party which many people would be able relate them too animals or savages. Imagery is often developed when characters in the novel are savage like. Dark imagery reveals the character Jack to be evil when, “He passed like a shadow under the darkness of the tree and crouched, looking down at the trodden at his feet” (LOF 53). Jack is being compared to an animal trying to hunt down his prey while crouching down. Again we can compare him to Hitler who was the leader of the Nazi party as Jack is the leader of the evil boys on the island.
The darkness on the island spreads to every boy like it is within everyone. “Darkness poured out, submerging the ways between the trees till they were dim and strange as the bottom of the sea” (LOF 62). Before the boys got on the island it was a peaceful island, by acting like savages they spread darkness on the island, which is the evil in each and every one of them. The darkness was submerging or killing any goodness on the island. This is a relevant comparison to the war as well as it killed hope in good people specifically the Jews who were persecuted by another group of people who thought they were better. As darkness overtook the island it also over took Europe during the dark times of World War II. Thus, dark imagery is used to show men can be evil human beings.
Golding uses light imagery over the course of the novel to symbolize civilization over savagery. Light imagery is often shown when something good or hopeful is going to occur. The boys make a signal fire in hopes that they will be rescued, “The flame nearly invisible at fist in that bright sunlight, enveloped a small twig, grew, was enriched with color and reached up to a branch which exploded with a sharp crack”(LOF 45). The fire is a symbol of civilization and hope that they will get rescued which is shown through the imagery used in the quote. The comparison can be made to the civilized people during WW11. They behaved in a way that was good and moral. The English boys on the island are trying to maintain civility by doing things like making a fire. Light imagery is illustrated by portraying Simon with goodness. When he is described Golding uses a lot of light imagery, “The water rose further and dressed Simon’s coarse hair with brightness” (LOF 169).
When Golding uses words like bright when describing characters it is often because the character is good and civilized, he is often compared to Jesus Christ. Reference to the saviour is associated with hope. Hope is also something that the victims of the Nazi party had to have in order to survive. At the beginning of the novel Golding uses colors and light to describe the character of Ralph as, “All the shadows on Ralph’s face revered; green above, bright below from the lagoon. A blur of sunlight was crawling across his hair” (LOF 16). Golding uses these colors to describe Ralph because he was one of the more civilized boys on the island. The comparison here can be made to describe Ralph as being good and bright and full of light and Jack as the opposite is dark and evil. To end, it is evident that light imagery symbolizes civilization.
The two sides of human nature are evident with the use of dark and light imagery. Imagery is used as a compelling literary technique illustrating how light and dark translates into good and evil. The use of foreshadowing is an indicator of things to come, which was used as an effective tool when referring to light and dark imagery.